New York law does not permit lawsuits against third parties, such as accountants and attorneys, whose negligence or even out-and-out collusion has encouraged corporate malfeasance that has harmed employees, shareholders or creditors, a divided state Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.

Ruling on certified questions in two cases — Kirschner v. KPMG LLP, 151, and Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, 152 — a 4-3 majority held that accountants who allegedly should have detected malfeasance by executives of Refco in Kirschner and American International Group Inc. in Teachers Retirement System cannot be sued under state law.

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